Owls cap road trip with sweep

After losing to conference foe East Carolina Wednesday, the men and women’s tennis teams rebounded with victories over Hampton, Thursday. The men swept its match in a 7-0 victory, and the women won, 6-1.

The women’s team dominated early in the match by securing the doubles point. The pairings didn’t allow more than four games in the set, controlling each match.

“We started out strong in doubles today,” coach Steve Mauro said. “We were solid from the baseline and we also finished well at the net. We are working on not being as predictable and being more aggressive.”

Temple won four out of five singles matches in straight sets. After losing her first singles match in a month, freshman Alina Abdurakhimova returned to her winning ways at No. 1 singles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

The Owls also recorded singles points from freshman Yana Khon in a 7-6 (4), 6–3 victory. Sophomores Anais Nussaume (6–1, 6–0) and Mariana Bedon (8-2) added singles points.

Sophmore Dina Karina couldn’t finish her singles match due to a sick stomach, and freshman Monet Stuckey-Willis sat because of a groin injury. Mauro said he expects her to return on Saturday against Akron.

The men’s team also made quick work of Hampton. Unlike previous matches, the Owls controlled close doubles matches and were able to win the all-important doubles point.

“I was really happy with how the guys came out fired up in doubles,” Mauro said. “We were more aggressive today and the effort was there in the match.”

Junior Santiago Canete paced the Owls with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory, while juniors Nicolas Paulus (6-2, 7-5), Hicham Belkssir (6-3, 7-5) and Ian Glessing (6-3, 6-0) each followed suit with two-set wins. Sophomores Filip Stipcic (6-1, 5-7, 10-7) and Vineet Naran, who won in 7-6 (6), 6-3, also contributed singles points.

Both teams have played inconsistently throughout the season, often performing well in every other match. Mauro said travel has hurt his teams’ performances.

“Traveling has been a huge factor in our inconsistent play,” Mauro said. “When you drive a long time to a match and you have to drive again to play the next day its tough … they all need time to be able adjust to the new environments and I don’t think that they have enough time to get acclimated.”

Both teams will play this weekend. The women’s team will play Saturday at home against Akron, and the men’s team will play Sunday at Hofstra.

Dalton Balthaser can be reached at dalton.balthaser@temple.edu or on Twitter @DaltonBalthaser.

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